Business Standard

Cloud to the rescue

The technology throws open a spectrum of new opportunities for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs have always walked the thin line between aspiration and reality. While there are so many ways to expand your start-up and grow as a business, a budget that reminds you of limited resources is a reality check, with is often frustrating. Not only that, the last economic meltdown around the world made businesses realise how crucial it is to cut your losses and be as innovative as possible when it comes to rationalising your expenses. The technology highway has expanded an entrepreneur’s horizons beyond belief. Social networking sites are now universally touted as one of the efficient ways to make your business grow, for free!

Next in line is cloud computing. Start-ups in just about any sector can be created and supported by cloud services – retail, travel, media and entertainment, IT, financial services, pharma, you name it. offers the same playing field that a bigger, established company has, because a start-up has access to the same technological backbone, data and markets.

Cloud not only makes it easier but also cheaper for anyone to turn entrepreneur, and have the best of technology infrastructure without having to spend a fortune on the same. This also takes care of the so-called office space, or infrastructure, since a start-up on a shoestring budget can actually let its employees work from wherever they are. Without any on-premises equipment and servers, the capital requirements come down drastically. Thus, during the crucial first two years, a company can concentrate on the core-competency and not have to worry about the IT solutions – and its bills -- that support his endeavour.

Cheap online resources and cloud also give a start-up the advantage to cross the hurdles of geographical limitations. One of the smallest instances: it is far easier to hire someone in a different country and have her work for you, rather than have the expert relocate to your “office space”, thereby spending extra in the process. Also, in the Indian scenario, where developing and innovating are somewhat limited due to lack of adequate physical infrastructure, cloud computing platforms give entrepreneurs the courage to experiment with new technology and tools, without having to spend a fortune on the same. 

Industry experts agree. The large number of SMEs in India and an entire breed of Indians fed on innovation and are bound to look to cloud computing so that they invest as little money as possible in the beginning.
After all, several newer start-ups in the US have shown the way; they have no server and exist solely via a cloud. Cloud computing will also do away with the limitation of having to locate to a metro city, hire an office space in a commercial area and so on. With cloud computing, companies can now operate and exist from semi-urban and even rural areas and vie with the best.

Access to this technology also means that areas that were, until now, explored only by a few are now open to all, throwing up a spectrum of newer opportunities. For instance, working with and for rural India until now meant swimming against the tide to kick-start a company. Innovative cloud-based apps and services now mean access to India’s hinterland is that much easier and an entrepreneur can stride the rural and urban divide with ease, without having to compromise on information and data.

Having said that, however, entrepreneurs should make sure that security and reliability due to cloud services are never compromised. Even though a lot of misgivings about security issues may be unfounded and just a usual trepidation to the next stage of technology, it is also true that data security and integrity should remain your priority. Help is at hand by way of encryption and audits and various security mechanisms such as access control policies.

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